It's not by chance that American artists began turning to Japan in the 1950s. Several popular books, including Norman F. Carver's 1955 book-length photo essay, "Form and Space of Japanese Architecture," were spreading the word.
Ironically, even as Carter was urging that homes based on its precepts be built in the United States, the traditional Japanese house was disappearing in Japan. As the economy improved after the war, Japan adopted Western styles of living. Today, few Japanese live in traditional homes.
On his last visit to Japan, Imada visited a collection of model homes, each built by a different developer—all very Western. But each had one traditional Japanese-style room, with a tatami floor and a tokonoma. A bit of history remained. "There's always some view of a little garden," Imada said, "and the feeling at the entrance was still very much the feeling of a traditional home."
Photos: Ernie Braun, Kathi O'Leary Photography